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Old 09-28-2003, 08:45 AM
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Anyone blasted with silica?

I've got both the inside and outside of a 65 Chevelle to prep. Inside will get POR 15 which basically can go on a surface preped in a number of ways and isn't as critical as far as surface profile as the outside.

I've heard from a few with experience that silica leaves the best profile to start over with when it comes to preping the outside of body parts for basecoat/clearcoat. Anyone have any experience with this? Any other media you would recommend for the outside of the body? I know silica is one of the more expensive blast medias.

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Old 09-28-2003, 08:56 AM
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Actually silica is the cheapest media in this area, it leaves a very paintable surface, it is somewhat reusable, a bit dusty on reuse, you have to wear a respirator to use it, 90 lb. bags are about $5.00
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Old 09-28-2003, 09:39 AM
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Actually, I believe most sandbalsting sands are "silica". Another medium used is, I believe, walnut shells. I have seen it sold at a local Northern Handy Man Store. It is rather pricy, about $20.00 for a couple of pounds. Silica sand can be saved and reused a couple of times. It does get powdery after at least the second use. I usually put down some plastic or a tarp to catch it and then pour it thru an old window screen to take out any chunks. I'm cheap, and will usually mix it with some new to make it go farther.
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Old 09-28-2003, 09:48 AM
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silica

is great for blasting things like floor pans , inner structure or heavier metals but never use it on exterior sheetmetal like door panels 1/4 panels, hoods, truncks etc. It will warp your panels and ruin them. Use it for the jambs, inner door shells trunk gutters, firewalls anything but the outer panels. Rockers are ok. USE A RESPIRATOR FOR SURE. The stuff is just not good for your health.
In the long run i find it is cheaper, faster, to send it out. Thats if you got just a bare body.It's a disgusting job to do yourself if don't have the right equipment and the mess is everywere.
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Old 09-28-2003, 05:46 PM
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Well, the body is bare, everything is out, its going to be a frame off restoration. And, I do have plenty of air compressor and sandblating equipment. I'm just looking for a recommendation on what blast media to use for the outside of the body, if any.

If nobody has had any success on outer body panels with any blast media, (over heating, warpage, to rough of a surface texture so you might as well have sanded to start with because your going to have to do a lot more sanding now due to the profile the blast media leaves behind, etc.) then I just want to know that. If thats the case I'll use a different method for the outside of the body.

So, anybody had any success blasting the outside of the body and if so what media did you use? What about soda?
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Old 09-28-2003, 06:40 PM
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We have a local shop that uses plastic beads for media, it's expensive but won't hurt glass, or rubber pieces
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Old 09-28-2003, 07:55 PM
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Soda is the newest thing being used,
no heat, will not damage glass or body filler, or trim if left on. it is usually very expensive and not many places have the equipment to do it HTH

Good Luck
Troy
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Old 09-28-2003, 08:38 PM
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Where I work, we use silica in our glass bead machine for just about everything. It leaves a nice satin finish without undercutting valuble metal from the parts being blasted. I plan on trying some in my Mac mini-blaster soon. I have a feeling it'll work great.
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Old 09-28-2003, 08:55 PM
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I've had several of my panels blasted with standard sand, to great success. You just have to make sure you hit the panel at an angle and don't stay in one area for too long.
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Old 09-29-2003, 08:11 AM
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Yeh it can be done if your careful, stay a good distance away and work at an angle, keep it moving, Practice a lot, experience is the best teacher.

Good Luck
Troy
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Old 09-29-2003, 04:51 PM
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so what exactly would you guys recomend for the body panels. I have already done the frame, underbody and firewall with fine black magic and it all looks great. Came out with a great surface and painted very well.

But what would be the best to use on the body panels?
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Old 09-29-2003, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by troy-curt
Yeh it can be done if your careful, stay a good distance away and work at an angle, keep it moving, Practice a lot, experience is the best teacher.

Good Luck
Troy
I spoke with a long standing sand blasting expert here in my town today. He agrees with what Troy says. He sent me to the same supplier he uses for 100 lb. bags of extra fine silica sand to use on the body panels. I bought 3 for a total of $23.97. The exact description was "silica sand mesh 720 finest."

I work for a company that builds both automotive and industrial paint finishing systems (surface prep machines, dry-off ovens, spray booths, cure ovens, etc.) We manufacture equipment for wet spray, powder, flatline coaters, and e-coat painting systems. When you build an e-coat tank you have to coat it with a non-conductive coating material like that manufactured by Ceilcoat. You don't want to put an electrical charge into the tank and then the workers who touch it. This guy is a certified ceilcoat rep and applicator. To put this stuff on you have to really know how to blast metal to a particullar surface profile per ANSI specs, so I trust him. Plus he just blasted a motocycle frame for me this summer, with silica, and then powdercoated it as well. He also has a powder coat line.

I know him pretty well and since I give him e-coat tank coating work (Ceilcoat costs around 15$ per square foot labor and material to apply, $15,000 to $20,000 on average per e-coat tank) hes going to blast and powdercoat my frame and suspension components for my 65 chevelle at no cost.
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